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  • KJG

DESIRE

Everyone has a story worth sharing & I truly believe that God desires for us to tell it! It's a beautiful way to help others hear and see that the good news of the gospel really does transform lives. With that being said, I wanted to share just a few parts of my story - specifically the details that point to the radical love of God pursuing me in the midst of my own confusion and dysfunction.


To be clear, I accepted Jesus at age 4, grew up in a Christian household, and attended church. But those facts don't testify that I love Jesus. Those facts testify that, by God's grace, I grew up with exposure to the gospel.


Now, here I am writing this, and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I have witnessed God's power and transforming nature within me, and it's nothing that anyone on this earth wants to miss out on!


If any of you know me personally - I'll preface my writing with a great big "I'm sorry." Sorry for the times I misrepresented Christ and acted in ways so contrary to the value system I said I believed in. (Maybe you dealt with the version of me that was quick to speak and oftentimes rude; obnoxiously loud but secretly insecure. Or the version of me that was critical, puffed up with knowledge, and thrilled to involve myself in a political debate. lol.) There were plenty of versions of me that I am not proud of. In fact, I often wish that I could remember every single person that I may have insulted or hurt so I could write to them personally.


When I think of the ways I've failed to be like Jesus, it saddens me. But at the same time, I've learned that it's the mess of my life that Christ's power can redeem and make a masterpiece out of!


I hope that by reading this, you can understand where I'm coming from, forgive me, and of course join me in a deeper love and admiration for the finished work of Jesus!

 

I'll start here: **15 year old me...having known of Jesus my whole life, but still, fear ruled my decision-making. Criticism was the loudest voice in my head. Anger was an emotion I often fell back on. And of course, I was in submission to the tugs of the world - it's busyness, and it's expectations. I knew of God, and His goodness, but my life was barely a reflection of the love I had for Him.**


It was at this point in my life that I started thinking deeper about what it meant to be a Christian. I started getting curious: did it make sense to claim to be following Jesus while I was not living any different than the rest of the world? The big sign leaning up against the wall in our stairwell read, "Do not be conformed to the patterns of this world..." (Romans 12:2), but what did this mean? If my life as a Christian is supposed to look different, where do I even start?


These couple of thoughts led me into the small but life-changing revelation that God never said that the call on my life as a follower of Jesus was going to make sense, God actually said the opposite: the call on my life was going to require desire & willingness to walk by faith (Hebrews 11:6, Proverbs 3:5-6, Matthew 17:20).


It was in this season that I started on a very imperfect pursuit to be a Christian "set apart" from the ways of the world. I wanted to see where God might take me if I walked by faith (& let me just say, I was clueless as to what this would look like. I just wanted to try).

 

From growing up in a Christian home, I had seen the example of my parents, who would both make it a priority to dig into the Word each day. They had taught me that the Word of God was going to be the most trustworthy source of direction. I trusted my parents, so I began seeking direction and purpose in that place exactly.


It wasn't long before I fell in love with hiding away & reading chapter after chapter of my "bible for teens". The truth had a way of awakening passion inside of me & I enjoyed being able to read something that mapped out what was good & what was evil. I liked having a standard of truth to live by, & I enjoyed becoming aware of all the ways I needed to change.


However, the more I read & acknowledged scripture as truth, the harder it became for me to understand why so many "christians" (including myself) walked & talked in opposition to what our title suggested we stood for. I didn't understand how we were all supposedly looking to the same source for our standard of truth; yet still, coming to different conclusions & having different opinions on how to live.


**This led me into a spiral. One of having knowledge of the Christ-like way to live, but spending so much of my time getting angry at the fact that "Christians are barely Christ-like," that I hardly allowed what I was learning to really change me.** During this spiral, my thoughts were critical (to myself, to the church, and to the world.) It was not a life-giving or fulfilling way to live; however, God remained faithful in guiding me & teaching me through this season.


It took multiple years of learning and striving until I finally came to the difficult realization that..."Okay, apparently knowing truth and living a godly life are not automatically connected." I knew this because just knowing truth was actually fostering some very ungodly qualities inside of me (pride, anger, skepticism, criticism, isolation, etc.) I mean, yes, I was consuming truth in an effort to be more like Jesus, but I was trying to muster up the "Jesus characteristics" in my own strength. Which meant that, regardless of how long I spent in God's Word, I continued to find it easier to act like a child of the world than to act like a child of God.


Why was this? If knowing the Bible wasn't the formula to Christ-like living, then what was?


To put a very long story short, an all-knowing God with all power, dominion, and authority, chose to lovingly acknowledge my curiosity: "Kira, it's going to take more than just feasting on truth for the sake of knowing good & evil. It's going to take feasting on truth & partnering with my Spirit out of a genuine desire to know Me & be changed from the inside out."

 

Genuine desire to be changed from the inside out was going to be necessary if I had the genuine desire to reflect the powerful & loving nature of Jesus to the world.

I was going to need to WANT to reflect Jesus, not for the sake of being viewed as good, but for the sake of expanding His kingdom.


If I continued to resist change in my own heart, I would also be resisting God's desire to be on display through my life. I didn't want to do that anymore.

 

The story He wrote was that Jesus would die so that my sins could be forgiven. That was the part of the story I had known since age 4.


Now I was getting in touch with a different part of the story. The part where I could choose an all-knowing God with all power, dominion, and authority to escort me to a more restful place - a place where humility would have to reign and perspective could be restored.


From my heart to yours,

Kira

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